Can the Boston Celtics Defeat Golden State in the NBA Finals?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
The Boston Celtics spent 48 minutes walking the high wire to defeat the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals to move on to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. It wasn't easy. The Celtics led by as many as 17 points in game 7 against the Heat, but held on by a shoestring to advance on in the playoffs. They'll face off against a tried and true winner in the Golden State Warriors.
The Celtics Will Be Underdogs
The Celtics were the top defensive team in the NBA during the second half of the regular season. Not much has changed in the playoffs, as the Celtics have faced off against elite players like Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jimmy Butler. The Celtics have also benefitted from opposing injuries. Key players like Khris Middleton and Ben Simmons have missed important games during Boston's playoff run. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors have been nearly unstoppable throughout the playoffs as the league's most dynamic offense. Can a Celtics team that has played two consecutive 7-game series stop the most lethal offense in the NBA right now?
The Celtics Match Up Well Against the Warriors
Golden State boasts a roster that has 123 games of NBA Finals experience. Conversely, the Boston Celtics roster has a combined 0 games of NBA Finals experience. The experience factor is real, but the Celtics roster matches up well with the key players for Golden State. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Derrick White will be tasked with attempting to slow down the Warriors' most explosive weapons, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Grant Williams and Al Horford should be stuck like glue to Draymond Green. Who covers Jayson Tatum on the opposite end of the floor is a large question, and it's unquestionably where the Celtics should have a major advantage.
The Celtics Can Defeat the Warriors
If injuries aren't a factor in the series, the Boston Celtics could be headed for banner number 18. The Celtics will have to close games with more efficiency than they did against the Miami Heat. Golden State closes games, and the Celtics will need to lean on Tatum, Brown, and Smart to elevate their game to a championship caliber.